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From plowshares to prison

On Monday, March 28 five peace activists will be sentenced in Tacoma, Washington for crimes committed on November 2, 2009. Each defendant faces possible sentences of up to 10 years in prison.

 The five were found guilty of trespass, felony damage to federal property, felony injury to property and felony conspiracy to damage property at the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base outside Bremerton, Washington where nuclear missiles are stored.

 That day, once arrested, the five were cuffed and hooded with sand bags because the marine in charge testified "when we secure prisoners anywhere in Iraq or Afghanistan we hood we did it to them."

 Two of the activists are in their 80's and may well spend the last years of their lives behind walls in a federal prison.

 We blessed them at mass this morning, the Provincial of the Jesuits, blessing the two priests with the words, "I mission you to the federal penitentiary …"

 Our culture promotes leisure, travel and relaxed days as retirement wishes; instead these activists promote peace.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.